Prospective Comparison of Patient Experience with Colon Imaging Tests

Hayden B. Bosworth, Don C. Rockey, Erik K. Paulson, Donna Niedzwiecki, Wendy Davis, Linda L. Sanders, Judy Yee, Jim Henderson, Paul Hatten, Steve Burdick, Arun Sanyal, David T. Rubin, Mark Sterling, Geetanjali Akerkar, Manoop S. Bhutani, Kenneth Binmoeller, John Garvie, Edmund J. Bini, Kenneth McQuaid, William L. FosterWilliam M. Thompson, Abe Dachman, Robert Halvorsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Purpose: Patient experience varies with the currently available colon imaging tests, including air contrast barium enema, computed tomographic colonography, and colonoscopy. We examined differences in patient experience with colon imaging tests and whether they varied with gender, age, and race. Subjects and methods: Patients with fecal occult blood, hematochezia, iron-deficiency anemia, or a family history of colon cancer underwent air contrast barium enema followed 7 to 14 days later by computed tomographic colonography and colonoscopy. Validated patient experience questionnaires that measured the experience for each test and a separate questionnaire that obtained an overall summary measure were administered after testing. Eleven patient experiences including pain, embarrassment, difficulty with bowel preparation, and satisfaction with tests were examined. Results: A total of 614 subjects completed all 3 imaging tests. The test most patients were willing to repeat was colonoscopy; it also was reported to be the least painful procedure. Patients were least satisfied with air contrast barium enema, and fewer would undergo air contrast barium enema compared with computed tomographic colonography or colonoscopy. There were limited racial and gender differences in perceptions of the tests. Younger adults perceived air contrast barium enema to be more painful than older adults. Conclusion: Taking into account a wide variety of patient experience measures, patients preferred colonoscopy to air contrast barium enema and computed tomographic colonography. This finding has important implications for physicians considering different colon imaging tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-799
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Air contrast barium enema
  • Cancer screening
  • Colon cancer
  • Colonoscopy
  • Computed tomographic colonography
  • Computed tomography
  • Patient preference
  • Satisfaction
  • Virtual colonoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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